March 10, 1997
I visited the city of Melbourne for the afternoon. It is a traditionally conservative
city which has been enriched by the influence of people and cultures from around the
world. A world-wide survey of living standards of major cities declared Melbourne to be
the world's most livable city. Melbourne is a blend of past and present, where elaborate
Victorian buildings sit beside spiraling new skyscrapers. It's a city of parks and
gardens, set on a large and spacious bay and at the head of a gently flowing river, laid
out with wide tree-lined boulevards and avenues. It is a subtle city, characterized by its
people. Melbourne combines a passion for the arts with an equally healthy passion for
sports. It is a city of festivals and events. This weekend the Formula One Grand Prix race
is being held. The city's personality is friendlier than its sister city of Sydney.
Melbourne is also the perfect base from which to explore Victoria. Within a few hours
travel of the city are ocean beaches and mountain ranges, snow fields and deserts, and an
array of state and national parks. Melbourne is a city that must be visited on a trip to
March 11, 1997
I rode 60 km to the Great Ocean Road, which is called this because of all the
geological rock formations along the coast. The rocks have been formed over millions of
years of pressure from the Tasman Sea. I will travel on the Great Ocean Road for the next
175 km. The natural beauty of this coast is awesome.
I set up camp on a cliff some 300 feet above the Tasman Sea. The waves crashed on the
deserted beach below creating a powerful echo throughout the night. After, a spectacular
sunset, the stars came out in full force.
March 12, 1997
THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD
Day two on the Great Ocean Road. After breaking down camp outside the town of Port
Campbell, it was time to pedal part of the scenic route. In the morning I saw the Twelve
Great Apostles. Which are rock formations along the coast. They are formed by the sea, in
which it creates caves and arches. Then, the Tasman Sea continues to break them down and
these formations are created. The coastal headlines are falling into the sea at a rate of
two centimeters per year.
The ride was beautiful in the morning. On the right side was the Tasman Sea and the
cliffs. On the left side was rolling farm country. However, the weather decided to change
ominously, first the wind, then heavy rain, and finally, hail. At which point I opted for
shelter in a bus stop for school kids. So, I must wait for a clearing in the weather.
Well, it seems as if I am going to have to be a mountain man and cycle in the elements.
The second half of my ride was a little more enjoyable. The nasty weather cleared for
a couple of hours. I traveled thru a beech rain forest. Then had a sweet downhill of 20
km. I was flying to get to some shelter. The ride was 105 km of everything mother nature
could throw at me today. The life of cycle touring has its moments. I'm sure I'll live to
tell about many more adventures .
March 13, 1997
Apollo to Melbourne
The lodging for the evening was hard to beat. I stayed at a backpacker in Apollo Bay
for free. The innkeeper never came to collect the money and there was no honesty box, so I
skated on down the Great Ocean Road 50 km north towards Lorne. The ride was pretty with
the ocean on the right and the sea cliffs on the left. The terrain was flat with a few
minor hills. I had the bike moving at a good clip today. In the town of Lorne, I boarded a
bus to Geelong. There I will pick up the train into Melbourne. The whole journey is 250
km. I needed to reach Melbourne today to finalize my Tasmania trip for tomorrow. The ship
sails overnight with arrival to the island in the morning.
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